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Omega-3 levels similar in both wild, farmed salmon

Is there any difference in the omega-3 nutritional value of farm-raised salmon and wild-caught salmon?

— Bob H., Medford

Well, Bob, it turns out not as much as you might think. For those who have been living under a rock for the past decade, nutritionists have long championed omega-3 fatty acids as an aid to brain and heart function. Fatty fish such as salmon are one of the most popular sources of omega-3.

According to the Washington Department of Health, farmed salmon, which are raised in marine pens, are typically fed grains and fishmeal, as opposed to the plankton and algae that contribute to omega-3 in wild salmon. Although oil-based fishmeal is gradually being phased out, commercially farmed salmon are typically still fed feed with enough fish oil to keep their omega-3 levels equal to or higher than wild salmon, the department's website says.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.